Rajni Kandola explains the case of a 90 year old admitted to hospital with a broken leg, who then suffered a Grade IV pressure sore in hospital and will now spend the rest of her life in a care home.
Rajni Kandola, Senior Associate Solicitor in our Medical Negligence team, is supporting a client and her family to claim compensation for the development of a Grade IV pressure sore whilst being treated as an inpatient at a local hospital for a broken leg.
Our client, Mrs S, is a 90-year-old female with a pre-existing diagnosis of Type II diabetes. However, despite this diagnosis, Mrs S was largely independent and enjoyed socialising with family and friends. Unfortunately, in July 2022, Mrs S had a fall at home and was hospitalised for treatment of a fracture in her left leg.
Inadequate assessment of pressure sore
Mrs S was put in a full leg high hinge cast but during her 4 week admission; Mrs S was subjected to inconsistent performance of routine skin checks by registered nursing staff and 7 dates have been identified on which a registered nurse did not assess Mrs S’s skin at all. This, coupled with Mrs S spending prolonged periods of time in the same position and general lack of holistic nursing care, were all major failings on the part of the hospital.
The hospital identified that during the 4-week admission, inadequate staffing levels were recorded with 1 registered nurse looking after 12 patients. It was only 2 days before Mrs S’s admission that she was finally referred to the Tissue Viability Team, who identified that Mrs S had an unstageable pressure injury to her coccyx, measuring 3.5cm x 3cm, with mixed moisture damage over the boney prominence and 100% dark slough. Mrs S was discharged home with a package of care on 17 August 2022 and the hospital failed to properly communicate the severity of Mrs S’s pressure sore injury to her family.
Treatment at home
District Nurses visited Mrs S four times a day at home and it was during one of these visits that they identified a Grade IV pressure sore which, by now, measured 3.5cm x 6cm. This came as a massive shock to the family. On a routine District Nurse home visit on 17 September 2022, concerns were raised about the possibility of Mrs S having sepsis due to the pressure sore causing an infection in her bone.
Re-admission to hospital
Mrs S was rushed to hospital again where she was started on antibiotics and a vacuum pack was fitted to the injury to assist the healing process. After another lengthy admission, on 5 December 2022, Mrs S was discharged to a care home for ongoing treatment, as she still needed around the clock care. Since January 2023, Mrs S has been privately paying £800.00 per week to stay at the care home, on the basis that she is no longer eligible for NHS funding.
The hospital in question carried out an internal Serious Incident Investigation which confirms the hospital’s poor performance and insufficient care caused Mrs S’s Grade IV pressure sore.
It now appears likely that, as a result of the above, Mrs S will unfortunately be spending the rest of her life in the care home given her extensive care needs, for which she has to foot the bill.
Proceeding with a medical negligence claim
Rajni Kandola has been instructed by Mrs S to pursue a claim against the hospital and work with them to reach a settlement which will fund the ongoing care needs that Mrs S now has.
Rajni said: “this case highlights the importance of understanding the signs and devastating consequences of pressure sore injuries and the correct treatment of them. Although a settlement cannot undo the negligence experienced by Mrs S, I will fight to ensure she receives the compensation she rightly deserves and needs to improve her quality of life into the future. Today, we join Mrs S and her family in supporting #STOPthePressure day and we call upon the hospital in question to ensure lessons are learnt from Mrs S’s case and to improve working practices going forward”.
At Talbots, we have a team of medical negligence specialists to help you, or a loved one, if you have suffered lasting health damage or loss due to medical negligence.
To speak to one of our specialist team, give us a call us on 01384 247 977.